Canon in the News – XSi body to be released

Well, since I am an admitted Canonite, and the blog name has Canon as part of the identity, I guess I should also chime in with a report on the announcement that Canon is adding a new body to it’s SLR lineup. The XSi was announced last Thursday by Canon, and this is apparently an incremental upgrade to the XTi that now serves as the baseline consumer grade SLR. Designed to compete with the Nikon D40, it offers a slightly larger pixel count, and makes the transition from CF cards to SD cards. I’m not sure if existing Canon shooters would be compelled to go out and purchase this, as I own the XT, and cannot see a need to own this. The camera instead seems as an attempt by Canon to recapture the lead market share for entry level SLR cameras from Nikon.

The reason I call this an incremental upgrade is because not much changes. The only things to change really are pixel count and screen size. I did a quick comparison chart of the bodies in the same range, so you can see where the “upgrades” are. Really, it seems more like they took this part of one body, that part of another body, and left other parts unchanged across the board (shutter speed, fps, ISO, etc…) Kind of a non-news item for me, but for those interested in entering the market, I can see where it’d be a decent option. Anyway, here’s my comparison chart to other Canon bodies:


For those interested in it’s specs, here’s a link to Canon’s official page for the new XSi.

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3 comments for “Canon in the News – XSi body to be released

  1. Tom
    January 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    IMO, after 8meg it does not matter too much unless for specific imaging, i.e., fashion, science, fine art etc.,

    So why not be a leader instead of a follower and speak to the dynamic Range of the unit instead of the Pixels?

    Once you understand, I mean really understand, what the DR means, you’ll write all day about it.

  2. January 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Well said, Tom. I would agree that the difference between 8 and 12 MP for most purposes is negligible. I would also agree that the dynamic range is a huge leap forward from previous iterations. Having said that, most who would be purchasing an XSi are probably first time SLR buyers, and the nuts and bolts of what interests 1st time buyers is MP count and screen size (at least recalling what I looked for when I first got into SLR level of photo gear.) Delving into the nitty gritty of dynamic range and 14 bit processing on a Digic III sensor versus lower bit processing rates on Digic II sensors would be by necessit very technical, and lose many casual viewers. However, since you’ve expressed an interest in the subject, here’s what Canon has to say on the increased dynamic range:

    “With the EOS Rebel XSi, analog to digital signal conversion is executed by a 14-bit processor, which generates digital data with incredibly smooth tones. Formerly a feature only present in top-of-the-line pro digital SLR cameras, the 14-bit conversion gives incredibly smooth transitions from light to dark colors, with far less risk of “banding.” A sky at sunset is a perfect example. With this rich 14-bit gradation the EOS Rebel XSi offers RAW images of the highest quality that can be processed with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. Even JPEG files, which are always finished at 8-bits per channel, use the full 14-bit conversion initially to generate the best possible color and tonal detail. Another huge benefit of the 14-bit conversion is the Highlight Tone Priority option, which allows critical shooters to increase the level of detail in bright areas of a scene up to one stop, without affecting overall exposure.”

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